After the first eight games of the season, the Sealy Lady Tigers sit at an even 4-4 on the volleyball court however head coach Kim Boyd understands the road ahead still holds all the possibilities in the world.
“Preseason doesn’t dictate your district outcome, all it does is prepare you for that district schedule and I’ve been on teams that went to state even though in the preseason, the overall record looked like it was nothing,” she said. “I fully loaded our preseason to prepare us for district and we’re just taking it in strides.”
Things got underway officially with Boling and Paetow making the trip to Tiger Town last Tuesday and although there were some growing pains, the hosts came away with a pair of wins to get out of the gate on the right note.
“(The opener went) much nicer than I expected after having that tough scrimmage with all the rotational issues and everyone pointing fingers because they hadn’t played together,” explained Boyd. “We have move-ins, we have underclassmen, we have upperclassmen who haven’t played with each other, so it was nice to see them finally play together and pull it through.”
Although Boling forced a fourth set, Paetow went down in straight sets helped along by 11 kills from junior Brylie Nedd and another three from classmate Ally Dickens who also added a block and a service ace but the Lady Tigers were forced to play the Columbus Tournament without her following a back injury.
Sealy has also started the season without sophomore Breanna Brandes who is nursing a back injury as well and despite the big-time player not contributing on the court, they have transitioned into a leadership role from the bench, providing Boyd an extra mind on the sidelines to help with anything and everything.
“It’s nice, especially because some kids don’t necessarily take criticism as well as they would coming from a peer but also she can be wording something that I’m saying differently that reaches other kids
different ways so it’s nice,” she said of Brandes turning into a coach for the moment. “It’s also going to help her as an overall leader when she does come back and same with Ally.”
Those extra eyes and ears helped Sealy come back around toward the end of the tournament and salvage a couple of wins to get out of dodge with an even record.
“At the end, they finally started playing together and that’s why we had a better game against Devine which is a pretty decent team and we looked good, there were some times where we had to fight from behind,” Boyd added. “They were communicating more, leaders off the court helped to see some shots but they just seemed like they started to mesh and it also comes with not changing our lineups and (not thinking about who’s where and just playing).”
At the end of tournament play, the Lady Tigers notched wins over Luling (2-0) and Devine (2-1) while dropping matches to East Bernard (2-0), Columbus (2-1), El Campo (2-0) and Terry to round things out.
Nedd, however, was a bright spot though it all, eclipsing the 40-kill mark over the course of the three-day tournament with a single-match high of 10 against Columbus.
She will continue to shoulder much of the load here in the early goings which continues rolling along with Giddings earlier this week and another tournament this weekend in Schulenburg to continue giving Sealy more reps together working toward another hopeful eventual postseason run.
“We just have to play as a unit, we decided in the offseason we would be all in all the time not just if we’re in the game or if we’re not,” Boyd said. “The people off the court are just as important as the ones on it and when we have both groups doing what they’re supposed to, we’re going to be a pretty tough group to handle.”